Revival Vol 4 Deluxe Collection Hard Cover

Tim Seeley, story; Mike Norton, art

Image Comics, 2017

As the series concludes there are a series of revelations, carefully orchestrated over the twelve issues in this deluxe collection. Seeley clearly had a grand plan for the ending, and carefully controlled the pacing. Just when you think you've seen the last revelation more follow, and what looked like an overly protracted climax pays off handsomely.

The Cypress sisters are still in hiding after escaping from the Farm, and General Cale goes outside of normal military channels to recruit a former covert operations specialist to find them. Derrick Hinch gets forced back into drug dealing by one of the occupying military. And there are a series of misadventures at the Farm where the Revivers are being held. An attempt to reunite Rasch with his spirit fails--he really wants to stick around and cause trouble--which leads to him and Dr. Lauro (the psychologist who has been working with the Revivers) being thrown into the high security area.

Things go rapidly downhill in town. When a panicked group of troopers fire on civilian protesters they find themselves possessed by captured "ghosts" and begin firing on themselves as well. This leads to what is essentially a state of war. Citizens begin banding together for armed protection, and the military (under new leadership) now distrusts anyone they encounter. The new general is preparing to level the entire town to contain the situation permanently.

General Cale continues with her own agenda: first, to find a way to kill the Revivers for real; second, to discover the source of the resurrections to make her son immortal. Dana finally figures out who killed Em: it was the exercise guru Lester Majak. He was enacting an ancient ritual to cheat death, which went wrong because Emily was pregnant. In any other series that likely would have been the grand climax, but there are many moving parts here. 

Em is taken to the creek to reverse the curse. But the group is met with military with orders to take the area; General Cale and her operative Fanny Weaver; a paramilitary group from town; the entire band of Revivers; and Lester Majak, who is still trying to pry immortality out of the situation. It's a grand climax indeed, with many struggles and deaths in a creek which is literally running red with blood.

In the end Majak and Cale both survive, but do not get what they wanted. Em's daughter is being raised by her sister Dana (now Sheriff) and Ramin. So it is a satisfying conclusion, as happy as could reasonably be expected. The final scene is an ominous one: Aaron Weimar's widow is shown purchasing a house on a creek in Tennessee (the creek in Wisconsin was revealed to be key to the ritual that started the whole thing) . Weimar had been the architect of the failed sacrifice. She is clutching a copy of his book, and talking about "starting over."

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I really enjoyed the first TPB of this series, after getting hooked on the first couple of issues. But it fell off my agenda when so many other properties vied for my attention. Peak TV? Heck, this might be Peak Comics, too!

But your review has jump-started my interest again, Mark. Even with the spoilers, I want to go back and see how we got from A to B. Sounds like a good ride.

Yeah, it's almost impossible to talk about the later run of any series without spoilers. But this one has an extended concluding arc that really pays off. I would definitely recommend going back.

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